This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
Yellow: Caustic soda solution, 7.5 parts, mixed with 1.5 to 2 parts of finely powdered ocher, heated with 2.5 parts of yellow wax, and stirred until uniformly mixed. A reddish-brown color may be obtained by adding 2 parts of powdered umber to the above mixture.
Natural umber, 0.5 part; burnt umber, 1 part; and yellow ocher, 1 part, gives a fine red-brown color when incorporated with the same wax and soda mixture.
Treat 5 pounds of wax with 15 pounds of caustic soda lye of 3° Be. so that a uniform wax milk results; boil with 0.5 pound of annatto, 3 pounds of yellow ocher, and 2 pounds of burnt umber.
Boil 5 pounds of wax with 15 pounds of caustic soda lye as above. Then add 7 pounds of burnt umber very finely powdered, making it into a uniform mass by boiling again.
The wax milk obtained as above is boiled with 5 pounds of yellow ocher.
The mass on cooling has the consistency of a salve. If it is to be U3ed for rubbing the floor it is stirred with sufficient boiling water so as to form a fluid of the consistency of thin syrup or oil. This is applied very thin on the floor, using a brush; then it is allowed to dry only half way, and is rubbed with a stiff floor brush. The polishing is continued with a woolen rag until a mirror-like gloss is obtained. It is best not to paint the whole room and then brush, but the deals should be taken one after the other, otherwise the coating would become too dry and give too dull a luster. The floors thus treated with gloss paste are very beautiful. To keep them in this condition they should be once in a while rubbed with a woolen rag, and if necessary the color has to be renewed in places. If there are parquet floors whose patterns are not to be covered up, the ocher (yellow) paste or, better still, the pure wax milk is used.
The wood to be polished must be made perfectly smooth and all irregularities removed from the surface with glass paper; next oil the work with linseed oil, taking care to rub off all superfluous oil. (If the wood is white no oil should be used, as it imparts a slight color.) Then prepare a wad or rubber of wadding, taking care there are no hard lumps in it. After the rubber is prepared pour on it a small quantity of polish. Then cover it with a piece of old cotton rag (new will not answer). Put a small drop of oil with the finger on the surface of the rubber, and then proceed to polish, moving the rubber in lines, making a kind of figure of eight over the work. Be very careful that the rubber is not allowed to stick or the work will be spoilt. A little linseed oil facilitates the process. When the rubber requires more polish, turn back the rag cover, pour on the polish, replace the cover, oil and work as before. After this rubbing has proceeded for a little time and the whole surface has been gone over, the work must be allowed to stand for a few hours to harden, and then be rubbed down smooth with very fine emery paper. Then give another coat of polish. If not smooth enough, emery paper again. This process must continue until the grain is filled up. Finish off with a clean rubber with only spirit on it (no polish), when a clear bright surface should be the result. Great care must be taken not to put the polish on too freely, or you will get a rough surface. After a little practice all difficulties will vanish. The best French polish will be found to be one made only from good pale orange shellac and spirit, using 3 pounds of shellac for each gallon of spirit. The latter should be of 63 to 64° over-proof. A weak spirit is not suitable and does not make a good polish. A few drops of pure linseed oil make the polish work more freely.